USDA Zone Maps -- In all but the coldest regions (Zones 5 and colder), early fall is an excellent time to plant perennials, container trees and shrubs, and roses. This month, however, it can still be hot. Do the planting on a cool, overcast, or rainy day to prevent heat stress.
See the USDA hardiness zone map.
Keep Your Lawn Looking Good
In cooler regions (Zones 6 and colder), September also is an excellent month to reseed and repair lawns. You'll need to water daily until the seed has sprouted and established. In warmer regions where daily highs are still regularly into the 80s F, wait to plant grass seed until October in warmer regions, when there are cooler temperatures and rain.
Learn how to renovate your lawn.
Apply a fertilizer and broad-leaf weed control to lawns this month. You can buy them in one formula, known as a weed-and-feed combination. Choose, if possible, one designed for fall application.
Even though grass growth has slowed, don't let it get more than three inches tall.
Tend to the Garden
If mature plants are flopping, tie them up or use plant supports or stakes (crisscrossed like an X with ends inserted in the soil) to keep them upright and to prevent them from smothering neighboring plants.
Halt fertilizing of roses and perennials. It will only encourage tender new growth that will get zapped this winter.
For best selection, buy bulbs as soon as you see them in stores. Keep in a cool, dry place until time for planting in October.
Try planting some of our favorite varieties.
Keep deadheading! You'll have more flowers longer, not to mention a nicer-looking garden.
Although this time of year it's tempting to forget about weeding, it's worth the effort to keep up with it!
In Zones 3 and colder and at high elevations, your first frost is likely to come this month. Stay tuned to the television and newspaper forecasts to find out exactly when.
Prolong the growing season by throwing a sheet or other nonplastic material over your annuals and vegetables. In fact, for vegetables, you can cover them indefinitely with any very light landscape fabric and anchor the corners with bricks or stones. It lets in sun and rain, but prevents light frosts from doing any damage.
Learn more about harvesting vegetables.
Attract birds to your garden by establishing their food sources now.
See ways to make your garden more appealing.
Deadheading Your Garden
Hi, I'm Justin. Here in the Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden today, talk about ways to keep your garden looking as great as it can. One of the easiest things you can do is deadhead. While the term may not sound very friendly, simply put, is removing the dead flowers off your plants. There are lots of reasons to deadhead your plants. One of my favorites is that you can get extra blooms from them. On this white flax for example, if you cut the stalk right here, this little side shoot will grow into a whole new stalk that blooms so you can enjoy it for several weeks. We deadheaded this flax a couple of weeks ago and you can see why it's such a great thing to re-bloom. We took the stalk off right here, and already, those clusters are producing the flowers. Should you pick up your dead flowers and throw 'em on compost pit or just let them drop on the ground? It's really up to you. If you're a neat and tidy gardener, you'll probably wanna throw them in the compost, but if you don't mind and decomposing right in your garden and adding to your soil structure there, it's fine to leave it fall. Another great reason to deadhead is you'll stop your plants from dropping seeds all over your garden. Some, like this black-eyed Susan, are notorious for that. If you don't cut off the dead flowers, you'll end up with a million unwanted seedlings all over your beds and borders next year. This stem of Russian sage was mostly done. So, we can cut off right here. It'll make the garden look better, but it also does another thing, the plant won't produce seeds, and if it doesn't put its energy into making seeds, the energy goes back into the root system. So, next year, we'll have a stronger, more flowering plant. The important part about deadheading is removing the faded flowers. It doesn't really matter where you do it on the plant; however, it'll look best in your garden if you cut it all the way back to the junction of a stem and a stalk. This will also give you the best chance to re-bloom because the new bloom shoots come out of that junction between the stem and a stalk. So, cut it all the way back, it'll look great and you probably get some re-bloom out of it too. So, spent a few minutes deadheading in your garden every week, you'll be amazed with the results.